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Friday, May. 24, 2019
High drama in Silver Stick finals
by Randy Pascal

Sixteen championship banners to be doled out at three local rinks covering a total of four ice pads – just a typical Sunday for the organizers of the Sudbury Regional Silver Stick Hockey Tournament.

With an increased level of interest from out of town teams in the event that sees tournament victors move on to the International version of the playdowns, primarily in January, it’s no small wonder that we are finding fewer local entries still standing come the last handful of games at the conclusion of a very busy weekend.

Give credit to the out-of-towners, however – there is a certain flair for the dramatic that was evident at times as the competition wrapped up yesterday.

The Orillia Terriers and Barrie Colts Major “A” Bantams face each other with regularity in league play, including a head to head matchup last Wednesday, but that didn’t stop them from entertaining the local faithful assembled at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex.

Carson Bussieres broke free on a late breakaway, snapping home the game-winning goal with exactly 7.1 seconds showing on the clock as the Terriers trimmed the Colts 3-2 in their grand finale. Austin Sawyer and Devin Baxter scored earlier in the contest for the winners, while Justin Morin handled all of the offense for the Colts with a two goal effort.

There was only slightly more time to spare over at Carmichael an hour or so later, as Carter Nicholson netted a short-handed marker with 25.3 seconds remaining, lifting the Barrie Colts past the Wawa Travellers 2-1 in the Major Peewee “A” final.

The Ottawa Sting broke open a tight 3-2 matchup with five unanswered third period goals, claiming the Minor Bantam “AA” title with an 8-2 win over the Guelph Gryphons. Six different players hit the scoresheet for the Sting, including Evan Redmond (2), James Taylor (2), Bruce McDonald, Max Harrison, Nathan Cook and William Parry, while Rowan Aljoe countered in a losing cause with both Guelph goals.

Tyson Scott scored 56 seconds into the four on four overtime session, lifting the Timmins Northern Allied North Stars to a 3-2 win over the Soo Phi Dental Greyhounds in the Major Atom “AA” gold medal affair. Nicolas Gilbert and Ryan Koski joined Scott on the scoresheet for the Stars, with Carter Huckson and Drew Allison doing likewise for the Hounds.

A pair of goals from Luke Valley bookended tallies from Logan Jackson and Darcy Simmons as the Innisfil Winterhawks stopped the Orillia Terriers 4-1, claiming Minor Atom “A” bragging rights in the process. Nolan Hutchinson scored midway through period two for the Terriers, the only time one of their shots would find the back of the net.

The Wawa Travellers proved no match for the Sault Selects in the Major Atom “A” battle for supremacy, with the Saultites scoring six times in the opening two periods en route to a 7-0 whitewash of their Highway 17 rivals. Chase Socchia led the way with a pair of markers, with solo efforts coming courtesy of Ryan Lemieux, Colton Greene, Logan Dearing, Alessandro Parco and Nick Dearing, while Peter Gartshore recorded the shutout.

The Orillia Terriers made it a clean sweep of the Bantam “A” brackets, as the 2018 Ontario Winter Games host city representatives bested the Glanbrook Rangers 3-1 in the Minor Bantam showdown. Dawson Mattison snapped a scoreless tie early in the third for Orillia, with Sam Laughlin making it 2-0 four minutes later and Jonah Teahen adding some insurance into an empty net. Broden Powell countered with the only goal for Glanbrook.

Orillia also claimed the Novice “A” crown as Hudson Inglis and Brock McKay scored with the man advantage, and Joshua May added an even strength goal in a 3-2 win over the Hearst Lumberkings. Théo Bourdon-Lemoyne and Cody Gratton replied in a losing cause for Hearst.

The Barrie Colts were equally as opportunistic on the power play, scoring three of their four goals while up a man and doubling the Orillia Terriers 4-2 in the Minor Peewee “A” final. Aiden Randell, Tyler McPherson, Cameron Chalut and Ethan Neller hit paydirt for the winners, while Tommy Goard and Devin Fisher tallied for the Terriers.

No overtime magic for the Copper Cliff Midget “AA” Redmen this time around. After twice capturing tournaments earlier this fall/winter in dramatic fashion, the Redmen fell just a little short in their home rink, knocked off 3-1 by a very impressive North York Knights side. Ethan Chong, Justin Avsenk and Nicholas Duguid all scored for the winners, while Noah Lagrandeur broke the Knights’ shutout bid with a third period goal for Copper Cliff.

North York also grabbed the Minor Midget “AA” banner with a 2-1 win over the Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves. Scott Kozak and Christopher Edwards staked the Knights to a 2-0 lead after two periods of play before Jack Heaphy made things interesting, getting Sudbury on the board with 3:38 to play.

A late first period goal by Grady Jalbert would stand tall as the Nickel City Minor Aton "AA" Jr Sons captured their division with a 1-0 whitewashing of the Copper Cliff Redmen. Kalia Pharand registered the shutout for coach Jason Young and company.

With play elsewhere completely wrapped up, it was left to the Nickel City Major Bantam “AA” Jr Sons to provide one final hurrah for the local fans, taking on the Cumberland Grads late Sunday afternoon at Countryside. The Jr Sons had managed to avenge a round robin 2-0 loss to the Gloucester Rangers, upending the same opponents 3-1 in their semi-final game.

“We had to keep our composure all game long, from the first drop of the puck to the last whistle,” acknowledged Sons captain Bradley Brunet. “We had to be going hard, and we had to score on our few chances in order to beat these guys, just like we did today.”

Goals by Brunet and Tyler Roussel gave the Sons a 2-0 lead after the first, with Nolan Moxam sealing the deal in the dying minutes as Nickel City benefitted from a very quick jump out of the gate. “We try and get a hard warm-up going,” said Brunet. “I think we’ve had a lot of good starts, a lot of first period goals for us, and that’s how we win most of our games.”

Facing a challenging Cumberland Grads team in the final, the Jr Sons would have to rely on the chemistry that comes from keeping virtually their entire lineup intact for a second straight season. “I think every single player has a trust in each other now,” said Brunet.

“We all know each other very well, we know where we’re going to be, we know what’s going to happen. We trust the coaches and the coaches have trust in us.” Hard to say if that was the difference-maker, but it certainly did not hurt their cause as the Jr Sons trimmed the Grads 3-2 in double overtime, with Alex Doiron providing the heroics with the teams playing three on three hockey.

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